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Part 3 - 1845 to 1860
Surnames Page

German Families in New Boston and Eliza Townships

These pages are under construction - if there is not a clickable link, the page is not up yet - email us for information if you wish in the meantime - email link at the bottom of the page.

Between 1840 and 1860 there were over 1,500,000 documented immigrants from Germany to America. That the tide of migration continued is amply demonstrated by the number of families coming to Mercer County after 1860. To understand some of the hardships of the migration: It took 66 days from Bremen to New Orleans in 1843. By 1854 it took 47 days from LeHavre, France to New Orleans. And ships were packed - the usual space allotted to a passenger was six feet by eighteen inches, and half that for a child (and this was after things got better!).

Beginning about 1850 there were a number of German families who immigrated to Mercer County. The impetus was that these families had young sons approaching their 21st birthday. If they remained in Germany the lads would have had to do mandatory military service when they turned 21. Ironically, many of them did military service in the Civil War instead in the 1860's. (See Civil War Resources page to research their service.)

We have included all those families found in New Boston and Eliza Townships in 1870 as well as a few others we have identified. More will be added as we go through more records. Part of the problem in studying these families is great variation in the name spellings. In the mid-1800's there was not yet much emphasis upon precision in spelling, and the name would be spelled as it sounded phonetically to clerks or census takers. Since many of these families did not speak English the problem was compounded greatly. There were tragedies in the families but they found kind neighbors in Mercer County and managed by and large to survive.

Among the guests at the Roberts Hotel in New Boston in 1870 were mail agent Louis F. Troy, 32, of Bavaria; harness maker John L. Myer, 30, of Hanover; and wagon maker Frederick Susans, 26, of Bavaria. Myers and Susans were conducting business out of the hotel as indicated by an 1869 advertisement discovered on the face of an account book owned by Mary Wheeler Tieman. Frederick Susans is also listed with Anders Anderson in 1870 as a wagon maker of Prussia.

Baugh - Peter, 25, and John, 27, of Germany, Eliza Township 1860 - with Ruby family (below)

Bergis/Burges/Burgess Family - William of Hanover, Eliza Township 1870 Census and 1880 census. Wm. Burgess is found in the NE/4 Sec 23 on Eliza Creek. 1870 Census: #13 William Bergis/Burgess, 52, farmer, born Hanover; Sophia, 43, Hanover; Susan, 20, Il; Jane, 16, Il; Sarah, 7, Il. Sophia died in 1884 and is buried in Shields Cemetery, Eliza Township. There was also a James Burgess family in Millersburg in 1870 (apparently not related).

Cursepeus Family - Arnst of Prussia, New Boston 1870 Census: Arnst Cursepeus, 33, carpenter, Ptrussia; Elizabeth, 30, Prussia; George, 3, Il; Arnst, 1.

Dreisigacker - see Thirtyacre below

Forney Family - Louis of Baden, New Boston 1870 Census: Louis Forney, 37, shoemaker, Baden; Amelia, 29, Baden; Amelia E., 2, Il; Louis, Jr, 1, Il

Freise Family - Charles of Hanover, Eliza Township: 1870 #2709 Charles Freise, 45, farmer, born Gy; Julia, 29, Gy; Amelia, 5, Gy; Julia, 3, Gy; Charles, 1, Il. In 1870 Eliza Township 74: Charles Freise, 53, farmer, born Hanover; Julia (Kemp), 38, born Hanover; Mina, 15, Hanover; Julia, 13, Hanover; Charles, 11, Il; Elizabeth, 9, Il; Matilda, 7, Il; Dora, 5, Il; Ella, 3, Il; Nancy, 1, Il. 

Gerka Family - Frederick of Hanover, Eliza Township 1870 Census: #14 Frederick Gerka, 35, farmer, Hanover; Mary, 34, Hanover; James, 10, Il; Joseph, 8, Il; Fred'k, 6, Il; Laura, 9, Il, Charles, 1, Il

Gradke Family - Louis of Prussia, New Boston 1870 Census: #129 Louis Gradke, 38, baker, Prussia; Amelia, 38, Prussia; Minnie, 13, Prussia; Jennie, 10, Il; Rudolph, 5, Il

Harding/Hartwig Family - George of Hesse, New Boston Township 1860 Census: #1901 George Harding, 33, merchant, Hesse; Emily, 22, Hanover; Emma E., 2, Il; Charlotte Lotli, 65, Hanover; Jane Lotli, 27, Hanover. The name given as Harding is perhaps an error or perhaps just anglicized as they are given as Hartwig in New Boston 1870 Census (see Tolle below): #127 George Hartwig/John George, 43, merchant, GR-Hes; Amelia, 33, Gr-Han; Emma, 12, Il ; Josephine, 9, Il; Lewis/Louis G, 7, Il; Katie, 4, Il ; Adam Hartwig,75, Gr-Hesl; Jane Tolle, 38, Gr-Han; Charlotte Tolle, 70, Gr-Han.

Heiser Family - Eliza of Germany, New Boston Township 1860 Census: #1780 Eliza Heiser, 40, farmer, born Gy; Christian, 14, Gy; Gustus, 11, Gy; Charles, 7, Il; William Nuchy, 32, laborer, born Germany. They are not there in 1870.

Hildebrand Family -Cyrus of Hanover, New Boston 1860 Census: Cyrus Hildebrand, 26, laborer, born Hanover; Charlotte, 30, born Hanover; Albert, 8/12, born Illinois. They are gone by 1870.

Keck Family - Michael of Hamburg by way of Iowa, Eliza Township 1870 Census (link is to Jesse Luster Adams family - see daughter Rachel)

Kerch Family - New Boston Township 1860 Census: Henry Kerch, 39, farmer, Gy; Lucinda (Fisher) Kerch, 26, Indiana; Susan [Kinnaman]; Catharine Kerch, 2, Il; Mary, 1/12, Il: 1870 Census: Henry Kerch, 49, farmer, Prussia; Lucinda, 36, In; Catharine, 12, Il; Mary, 10, Il; Lewis H, 7, Il; Sherman, 5, Il; Hiram, 2, Il. Son Sherman Kerch married Miss Kate Miller on Oct 13, 1897. They had one child who died in infancy but raised a girl, Ethel Hudson, who married Fred Green. Also see Miller Cemetery Records.

Koerk Family - 1860 Census New Boston: Frederick Koerk, 32, laborer, Mary 25, both born Germany; James, 2, born Il - not found in 1870 census in Mercer Co.

Kolburg Family - 1880 census in Eliza Township:# 47 William Kolburg, 32, farmer, Prussia, parents born Prussia; Wilhelmina, 41, Prussia, parents born Prussia; |Agnes, 12, Il, at school, William, 10, Il, at school, Albert, 9, Il; at school, Max, 8, at school, Lucas, 5, Il, Hulda, 4, Il, Louisa, 3, Il, Alma, 1, Il, John Estler, 31, servant, born Mo.

Lang Family - 1860 Census New Boston: Frederick Lang, 28, Grocer, Margaret, 22, both born Saxony; Elizabeth, 1, born Il; Lewis Lang, 56, Clerk, born Saxony. They are not in the 1870 Census in Mercer County

Mathias Family - New Boston Township in 1860 Census: #1858 Lewis Mathias, 36, merchant, born Hanover; Terrissa, 36, born Prussia. Gone in 1870

Miracle - see Shrader below

Muhlenburg Family - several listed in 1870 see their page.

Nadge Family - New Boston Township 1870 Census: William Nadge, 41, farmer, Prussia; Lizzie, 51, Pr; Christian, 24, Pr; Augustus, 16, Pr; Charles, 16, Il; Lena Shopa, 19, domestic, Prussia.

Newman Family - Eliza Township 1860 Census: #1674 Sophia Newman, 48, La; Martha, 20, La; Elizabeth, 18, La; Erastus, 15, La; Sophia, 12, La; Eliza Township 1870: #132 Sophia C. Newman, 58, farming, born Hamburg; Martha A., 30, La; Sophia A, 20, La. (note: there were other Newman families from Ireland). In 8/2010 we heard from descendant Sonia Amador who tells us that Sophia C. Hentz Newman married John Franklin Essley in 1873 in Iowa. We also found the family in 1850 in Plaquimins, La and discovered the family is only partially German: #467 Erasmus Newman, 40, Bch Pilot, born Denmark; Sophia, 38, Germany; Martha, 10, Plaq; Elizabeth, 8, Plaq; Erasmus, Jr, 6, Plaq; Sophia, 2, Plaq; Cristopher Hentch, 82, Gy (probably Sophia's father?). There is an item in Eliza Creek Cemetery with a note that it is possibly a memorial: Sophia C. Newman, dau of E and S C Newman died Sept 18, 1847, aged 7 mos. There is some confusion as to whether the date is 1817 or 1847 but it cannot be 1817 and the Newmans were still in Louisiana in 1850 so it nearly has to be a memorial?

Oldenburg Family - Charles of Prussia Eliza Township 1880 #52 Charles Oldenburg, 40, farmer, Prussia, parents born Prussia; Elvira, 40, born Prussia, parents born Prussia; George 14, Pr; Aaron, 14, Pr; Walter, 9, Il; Fred, 4, Il; Annie, 1, Il. There were numerous Oldenburgs in Chicago also.

Ratz Family - Eliza Township 1870 Census: #15 William Ratz, 35, farmer, born Prussia; Caroline, 34, Prussia; Amelia, 10, Prussia; William, Jr., 2, Il. They were gone by 1880.

Ruby Family - Eliza Township 1860 Census: #2752, John Ruby, 40, laborer, Germany; (?) Ruby; 30, wife, Gy; (?) Ruby, male age 3, female age 1, born Il (unfortunately this is unreadable). They are gone by 1870.

Shafer/Shaver Families - There were a number of families of these names of various origins in Mercer County. We will list those from Germany in New Boston or Eliza here. New Boston Township - 1860: #1677 Augustus Shaver, 38, farmer, Gy; Charlotte H., 30, Gy; Malinda, 7, Il; Rachel, 5, Il; David 3, Il; Caroline 52, Gy; Robert, 60, Gy; 1870 New Boston Township: #106 August Shafer, 40(50?), farmer, Gy; Charlotte, 47, Gy; Malinda, 17, Il; Rachel, 15, Il; David, 12, Il; Ellen, 9, Il; Charles, 7, Il

Seavers Family - Henry Seavers and family are found in New Boston in the 1860 census: #1845 Henry Severs, 30, shoemaker, born Denmark (all later records give Prussia); Joanna, 36, born Saxony; Henry, 1, born Iowa. The name is fairly common so we did not identify Henry in the 1850 census but he was not in Mercer County. In 1870 they are still in New Boston, on the main street among other merchants: #139 Henry Seavers, 42, shoemaker, $12000, $2000, born S. Holstein (crossed out and Prussia entered); Hannah, 45, Prussia; Henry, 11, Iowa, Charles, 10, Illinois; Edie (female), 7, Il; William, 5, Il.

The family is gone in 1880 and we did not find them anywhere else. Perhaps they were on the move in 1880. It is interesting that young son Henry was in Kauai, Koloa, Hawaii in the 1900 census, married and with a child. He had moved to Fresno, California by 1910 and is found there through the 1930 census. Henry, Sr., and wife Johanna were living with son Charles in Pocatello, Bannock County, Idaho in 1900 and are not found in the 1910 census so likely died there as son Charles was still there in 1910 and 1920. Two of Charles' sons had moved to Alameda, California by 1930.

We heard from descendant Brent Seavers who tells us there is a picture of Henry and son Charles in front of their store in Pocatello on his Yahoo group site. There is also a picture of the Seavers Building in an Historical Pocatello Brochure (see page 6).

Shopa - see Nadge above

Shrader [Schrader] Family - New Boston Township 1860 Census:#1681 Augustus Shrader, 23, farmer, born Hanover; Amelia, 19, Ha; Sophia, 6/12, Il. #1682 Lewis Shrader, 58, farmer, born Ha; Sophia, 57, Ha; Christain Miracle, 25, Laborer, born Baden. 1870 Eliza Township: #119 August Shrader, 39, farmer, Ha; Amelia, 28, Ha; Sophia, 9, Il; Flora, 7, Il; Lewis, 5, Il, Henry, 1, Il; #120 Lewis Shrader, 67, farmer, Hanover; Sophia, 66, Ha; John Taylor, 56, carpenter, England; Gustus Graberg, 25, farm laborer, Sweden.

Spolader Family - Augustus of Hanover, New Boston Township 1860 Census. Came on the Ship Rebecca May 1853. (see page)

Teeman/Tieman Family - Henry of Hanover died 1850 Mercer County. Henrietta Muhlenberg Tieman Jackson of Hanover in Eliza Township Census in 1860. Son Henry in Eliza Township, son Augustus in New Boston Township in 1860 Census (see their page)

Thirtyacre (Dreisigacker) Family - John of Hanover 1860 Eliza Township Census. Parent Johan Dreisigacker buried in Leech Cemetery in Eliza Township (see page)

Tolle Family - New Boston Township 1860: #1874 Henry Tolle, 35, merchant, Hanover; Rebecca, 22, Il; David, 6, Al; Emma, 6/12, Il; New Boston Town 1870 Census; #126 Charles Henry Tolle, 46, baker, Han; Rebecca, 32, Il; Sarena, 10, Il; James, 8, Il; Adelia, 6, Il; Hugh D, 16, Al; #127 with Hartwig family (see above): Jane Tolle, 38, Han; Charlotte Tolle, 70, Han.; David of Hanover in Eliza 1880 : David Tolle, 63, farmer, Hanover; parents born Hanover; Sophia, 53, Ha; Sarah, 15, Il. They were next door to the Charles Oldenburg family and the William Burgess family.

Volker/Volkes - Valentine of New Boston in 1870: #125 32, Cooper, Gr-Sax; Margaretta, 27, Ia; Henry, 2, Ia; John, 1, Ia. Next to Tolle and Hartwig families and possibly connected or immigrated together?

We have very little on most of these families that are not yet linked and would appreciate help from anyone. If we have not left room for a link button you will know we have nothing further on a particular family. We would be interested in any articles or any insights into the "German Community" in Mercer County. Email Web Master Nadine Holder email on the About Us Page.

3/6/2009 Added information to the Seavers family above, courtesy of Bret Seavers.